Thursday, March 23, 2006

Here's the news from Iraq

The US military on the ground is trying very hard to get with the program, but the truth keeps tripping them up. Here's today's AP story quoting Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch:
"There is not widespread violence across Iraq. There is not. Seventy-five percent of the attacks still take place in Baghdad, al-Anbar or Salaheddin (provinces). And in the other 15 provinces, they all averaged less than six attacks a day, and 12 of those provinces averaged less than two attacks a day." . . . The three provinces he cited, however, are home to about 9 million people . . . As Iraqi soldiers and police have begun patrolling more territory, U.S. forces have become less visible in many areas in the country and less easy to target. Also, the nature of the violence in the country has shifted from assaults on American troops to battles rooted in sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Well over 1,000 people have died violently in Iraq, mainly in and around Baghdad [in the last month] The sectarian-rooted deaths since then have been running at dozens a day. The bodies of hundreds of victims have been dumped after being shot execution-style, hands bound and bearing signs of torture.
Here is the reality. How would we like to be living and working and raising a family in neighbourhoods that looked like these?

A makeshift refugee camp in Baghdad for people displaced by the violence.

Another body found on the street in Baghdad:

A bomb attack at a coffee house:

A car bomb attack in Miqdadiya

A patrol in Basra:

A vegetable market in Hilla, south of Baghdad:

An oil tanker truck set on fire -- the driver blamed the American military, who are probably getting blamed for everything which goes wrong in Iraq these days.

The family allegedly slaughtered by American troops:

And finally, some actual good news: three of the Christian Peacemakers were rescued

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